Which Is Better for Your iOS App, React or Swift?

Companies often face the dilemma of selecting between React Native and Swift for the development of their iOS applications. React Native is amongst the most in-demand JavaScript frameworks, while Swift is gaining momentum as a powerful programming language.

Comparing both of these app development technologies, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your app. However, both have their own distinct uses and benefits.

Research has revealed that only 14% of time spent on mobile devices is on mobile webpages, with 86% spent in mobile applications. This is likely due to the customer service, communication and push notifications offered by apps, which provide users with a more comprehensive customer experience. Customers are interested in the utility of branded apps for making purchases, as well as how it adds to their overall impression of the company and how they feel about using additional branded applications. As such, personalized content, added value to purchases and omnichannel access to favorite brands are key aspects customers look for.

You must also determine whether or not an Android version of your app is necessary to achieve your aims.

Let’s go further into these two powerful frameworks, compare and contrast React and Swift, and determine which one is the best option and why.

Comparison Between React and Swift and Their Definitions

It would be imprudent to directly compare X and Y without ensuring that all readers are familiar with both frameworks.

Explain what React Native is.

React Native is a framework developed by Facebook for building applications that can be deployed across multiple platforms. Its JavaScript-based framework provides a great solution for creating apps that are universally compatible.

The requirement for a cross-platform, open-source development framework for Android and iOS was the driving force behind its creation. Previously, Facebook heavily relied on HTML5 to produce and deliver a cross-platform experience for its users. While their concepts were correct, the framework was not, as HTML5 is slower than native applications. To ensure an excellent user experience on both iOS and Android, they developed React Native. The ultimate aim of React is to develop apps for both Android and iOS.

React Native is based on JavaScript, as opposed to the platform-specific programming languages which are used for native applications. This allows for code reuse across multiple platforms, such as mobile, desktop and web applications. Notable companies such as Target, Shopify and Facebook have utilized React Native in their applications.

To create native apps across several platforms, React Native is:

  • Practical in terms of expense
  • Quickly and with a high degree of code reusability
  • Possesses a large group of coders
  • Facilitates the creation of web applications

For those who don’t know, what is Swift?

Swift is a programming language developed by Apple to assist developers in creating applications that are compatible with iOS devices. It is seen by many as the most suitable language for creating applications that are exclusive to the iOS platform. Swift has been designed as a universal framework by Apple to create their products, taking full advantage of the Apple hardware.

Swift apps are compatible with Apple’s macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, as well as IBM’s z/OS, which runs on mainframe machines. Since its release in 2023, Swift has become a popular and open-source programming language, compliant with the Apache license, and usable with the Objective-C and Cocoa Touch frameworks.

Now that we have discussed the main differences between them, let us compare and contrast them to determine which is the most suitable for the development of your iOS app.

It’s True that Swift has:

  • Comprehensive capability (you’re free to use all the device’s native APIs)
  • A well-designed user interface, powerful functionality, and prompt responses (because it is tailored for iOS)
  • Able to work with Apple hardware and software

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using React Native

React Native’s Benefits

  • React Native can reduce the time taken to develop an app by up to 50%, making it particularly beneficial for projects targeting both iOS and Android. Its abundance of pre-made solutions makes React an ideal choice for app development, with the added bonus of being up to 33% faster than using Swift.
  • React Native offers a unified framework for developing mobile applications across a range of devices. This can reduce development time, however, there are some potential drawbacks that should be considered before using this framework. We will discuss these in further detail.
  • React Native is designed to streamline user experience on mobile devices. This makes it easier to anticipate user interactions and identify errors. Although similar results can be achieved through native development, the process is much more labour-intensive.

Limitations of React Native

  • It may come as a surprise to some, but React Native is currently in its early beta stages and thus has some bugs and compatibility issues to be addressed. Developers may experience difficulties with debugging tools and package compatibility. Rest assured, React Native is continuing to be developed and these problems will be rectified in the near future.
  • React Native has limited custom module capability, which is a disadvantage similar to the one mentioned previously. It also has some features that are still in development. Nevertheless, there is a wide range of modules that are fully operational and provide excellent performance, thus it is unlikely that they will be required when constructing a project.
  • It is essential to obtain the input of a local programmer when creating a native app. Although React Native may be used to construct the majority of an iOS app, certain elements will still require the knowledge of native developers.

Swift’s Benefits and Drawbacks

Advantages of Swift

  • Swift is available to everyone as it is an open-source programming language, and the supportive community allows developers of all abilities to benefit from one another’s experiences. This greatly reduces the time and effort required for debugging.
  • Swift enables rapid development of iOS applications, enabling a much faster app development process than with other coding languages.
  • Swift’s simplified syntax makes it easier to read and comprehend the code, which helps in both maintenance and comprehension.

Problems with Swift

  • Due to its relative youth (Swift is only six years old), the Swift community is currently smaller, less diverse and less experienced than other communities. However, these issues are expected to be addressed over time.
  • Due to the rapid development of Swift, there are some compatibility issues that must be taken into consideration. It is not possible to upgrade a Swift 1.0 project to work with Swift 2.0 or 3.0, which could result in a break in compatibility between Swift releases.

Comparison of React and Swift’s Primary Distinctions

The success of your application will depend on a variety of factors. Ensuring the app is well-designed and optimised prior to its launch is essential for market penetration. Additionally, app marketing should be taken into consideration.

If you partner with the leading digital media marketing companies, you can ensure that your app is seen and remains visible. However, first you must create the best possible app for your business.

It may appear peculiar to some that we are discussing React Native and comparing it to Swift in the context of creating iOS apps. The query, “Which is more suitable for iOS app development, React or Native?”, may appear straightforward, however, there is more to it than meets the eye.


When evaluating React Native versus Swift, it is important to consider the efficiency of each with regards to system resources, such as CPU, memory and GPU speed.

Swift performs exceptionally well in terms of CPU efficiency, however, it falls short when it comes to memory utilization and GPU performance, resulting in an inefficient use of resources.

In contrast, although React Native performs poorly with regard to CPU utilization, it is both memory and GPU performance efficient.

It can be argued that React Native is faster than Swift, however, performance alone should not be the sole factor in making such an important decision.


React Native enables the development of applications that are compatible across multiple platforms. Comparatively, this can result in a reduction of up to 70% of the codebase being reused for multiple platforms with minimal effort.

If your goal is to develop an iOS app, Swift can provide an efficient solution for a lightweight product. However, the development team will need to build the app from the ground up, which could affect the timeline of the project. Every element of the design will need to be coded from scratch.

Coding Velocity

The choice of whether to create an iOS-only app or to enable scalability to other platforms will significantly influence the speed at which coding must be completed. Swift is the most efficient and simplest way to produce an iOS app.

However, it is advisable to consider the possibility of extending to Android in the future when designing the application, as it would be inefficient to have to create two distinct applications.

React Native offers a more efficient solution in this instance, as much of the code already written can be reused for the new version of the app, thereby reducing both development time and cost.


The sophistication of the programme is highly commendable. Swift, Apple’s official programming language, is the optimal choice for developing a complex, feature-rich iOS app for your business. Alternatively, React is the preferred option if you are looking for an app that has a unified look, feel, and behavior across all platforms.

Swift is widely regarded as the most suitable framework for creating sophisticated mobile applications. It is tailored to optimize Apple’s products and its source code is updated less frequently, making it ideal for writing complex applications. While either Swift or React Native can be used to build complicated applications, certain tasks that are straightforward in Swift may be difficult in React Native, due to its relative immaturity and fast-paced development cycle, which can result in frequent application failures.

Airbnb is an example of a company that adopted React Native technology as an early user and created several displays with it, including various third-party integrations. However, by 2023, they had moved away from React Native due to its lack of functionality and immaturity, and instead opted for Swift as this was more cost-effective and beneficial in the long term.

The fact of the matter is that businesses often do not begin their construction process correctly from the outset. It is sensible to completely revamp their programme when they encounter rapid growth, attract millions of users and reach a point of stagnation. Therefore, whilst Swift is favored for more complex applications (and is more costly than React Native), React Native is typically used for simpler applications with fewer graphics.

Here’s the Deal

It is not possible to definitively state whether React Native or Swift is preferable, as this will depend on the type of app to be developed and the financial and personnel resources available to the organisation.

At our remote recruitment agency, we are dedicated to helping businesses locate and hire the most talented remote developers available. Our expertise lies in React and Swift developers, and we can provide you with a pay guide to ensure you find the perfect candidate. If you are looking to recruit a top-notch developer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We will do our best to assist you in finding the right candidate for your needs.

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